Things to do in Grand Canyon

Things to do in  Grand Canyon National Park

Into the deep

Only one spot on this planet is a national park, a UNESCO site, and a wonder of the world: Grand Canyon National Park. Protecting one of the most scenic canyons on Earth, this Arizona spot—a 3.5-hour drive from Phoenix—is a favorite of road-trippers, Route 66-ers, National Park lovers, and anyone chasing America’s Wild West. While simply gazing over the rim is a bucket-list checkmark, for outdoorsy travelers, hiking, biking, wildlife-watching, and stargazing are just a few of the best things to do in Grand Canyon National Park.

Top 15 attractions in Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon West Rim

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The Grand Canyon's West Rim, located just outside Grand Canyon National Park, is home to the vast Hualapai Indian Reservation and includes 108 miles (173 kilometers) of picturesque canyon views. The closest section of the canyon to Las Vegas, the West Rim is famous for the lofty Grand Canyon Skywalk, Guano Point, and Eagle Point.More

Desert View Watchtower

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Enjoy a sweeping panoramic view of the Grand Canyon from the historic Desert View Watchtower. Architect Mary Colter created the tower, built in the early 1930s, as an homage to the watchtowers built by the Ancestral Puebloan people who once inhabited the Four Corners area. The murals inside were painted by a local Hopi artist.More

Grand Canyon Skywalk

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The Grand Canyon Skywalk—a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed bridge that juts out 70 feet (20 meters) above one of America’s most scenic sites—is not for the faint-hearted. Situated 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) above the Grand Canyon, the Skywalk offers unreal panoramic views of the West Rim and Colorado River.More

Colorado River

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The Colorado River is a spectacular sight to see, meandering for 1,447 miles (2,330 kilometers) with red rocks and canyons framing it on both sides, leading up to the Hoover Dam. The Colorado River is one of the major water sources for California and Nevada, and, not surprisingly, is a major recreational destination—activities on the river include hiking, biking, rafting, and boating.More

Grand Canyon South Rim

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The South Rim is the most popular area of Grand Canyon National Park, boasting easy access to the canyon, the bulk of available amenities and services, and the panoramic vistas for which the natural wonder is famous. One of the great natural wonders of the world, the rim offers stellar views over the Colorado River and easy access to top hiking trails such as the Bright Angel Trail and the South Kaibab Trail.More

Mather Point

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With its panoramic Grand Canyon views, Mather Point is one of the most visited spots in Grand Canyon National Park. The multitier viewing platform is perched on a rocky outcropping near the South Rim entrance and a short walk from a visitor center. Walk nearby trails to reach multiple vantage points and photo opportunities along the rim.More

Eagle Point

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Eagle Point, a popular stop in Grand Canyon West, is the site of a Native American village, amphitheater, and the famous Grand Canyon Skywalk—a horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet (21 meters) over the canyon for views of the Colorado River 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) below.More

Grand Canyon Visitor Center

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The National Geographic Visitor Center is both a gateway to the Grand Canyon and a destination in its own right. Conveniently located near the South Rim entrance, the center makes a logical first stop at Arizona’s iconic landmark. Visit the center for guidance on your trip, and to experience its IMAX Theater, cafe, and exhibits.More

Cameron Trading Post

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A popular stop en route to the Grand Canyon, the historic Cameron Trading Post combines American Indian art and culture with a modern travel stop. Browse the expansive souvenir shop, eat at the restaurant, or even stay overnight in the hotel—all while experiencing the traditional food, crafts, and decore of Navajo and Hopi tribes.More

Grandview Point

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Grandview Point’s scenic overlook offers views of the Grand Canyon from the tallest and southernmost point on the South Rim. It’s location a mile off the main road between Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Visitor Center means fewer crowds a new vantage point overlooking the canyon’s majestic layers. The nearby trail provides views of the Colorado River far below.More

Bright Angel Point

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Bright Angel Point is the most popular viewpoint on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, offering views of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and Roaring Springs some 3,000 feet (914 meters) below. The easy paved Bright Angel Point trail leads to the spot, with panoramic views of Grand Canyon National Park unfolding along the way.More

Glen Canyon Dam

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In 1964, the Colorado River’s roaring waters needed to be harnessed, so the towering 710-foot-tall (216 meter) Glen Canyon Dam was built. The resulting 186-mile-long (299 kilometer) Lake Powell, the second largest man-made lake in the US, took 17 years to fill to capacity. Today, the dam provides hydroelectric power to the American West.More

Grand Canyon Railway

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Combining the mystique of the Wild West with the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Railway has been delighting riders since 1901. As you make the two-hour trip to the canyon from Williams, Arizona, to the South Rim, you’ll be entertained by authentic characters and musicians who bring the Old West to life, all the while soaking up the unforgettable scenery of Grand Canyon National Park.More

Desert View Drive

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Built in 1931 to appeal to an increasing number of visitors arriving by car, this 26-mile (42-kilometer driving route is a visual delight, showing off the beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Hugging the rim of one of America’s most epic natural wonders, the road leads to several scenic pullouts and viewpoints.More

Tusayan Ruins and Museum

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A visit to Tusayan Ruins and Museumprovides a glimpseinto the life of the Hopi tribe and the Ancestral Puebloan people who inhabited the region 800 years ago. Inside the museum, there are artfully displayed exhibits on various aspects of life in the village including pottery,arrowheads, and other household artifacts. The museum also features some of the original 2,000–4,000 year oldsplit-twig figurines, which are made in the shape of deer or bighorn sheep, sometimes with horns or antlers.The Tusayan Ruins and Museumis part of the Grand Canyon South Rim’s Desert View Drive. The trail itself holds a variety of attractions including Desert View, the breathtaking scenery unfolding from Desert View Watchtower, Navajo Point, where you can see the Colorado River and Escalante Butte, and Lipan Point, where you can see several stretches of the Colorado River. Also here is Moran Point, where you can see a layer of red shale in the canyon walls.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Grand Canyon National Park

45-minute Helicopter Flight Over the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona
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Helicopter Tour of the North Canyon with Optional Hummer Excursion
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Grand Canyon Signature Hummer Tour with Optional Sunset Views
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Grand Canyon Landmarks Tour by Airplane with Optional Hummer Tour
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Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell Scenic Flight with River Rafting
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25-min Grand Canyon South Rim EcoStar Helicopter Tour with Optional Hummer
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Grand Canyon Tour from Tusayan

Grand Canyon Tour from Tusayan

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All about Grand Canyon National Park

When to visit

Grand Canyon National Park’s busiest season is also one of its worst for weather: Summer brings in rain, high temperatures, and crowds. You’ll have a much better time visiting the park during the shoulder seasons of April–May and September–October. If you’re eyeing the more-secluded North Rim (only 10 percent of all Grand Canyon visitors see this side of the canyon!), keep in mind that this high-elevation spot is only open May 15–Oct. 15, weather permitting.

Getting around

You’ll have no issue getting around Grand Canyon National Park—free shuttles traverse the South Rim regularly, even stopping at viewpoints where personal vehicles aren’t permitted. The Grand Canyon Railway runs year-round as do guided tours, and from May–October, there’s rim-to-rim shuttle service as well. Beyond motorized, on-the-ground transport, consider mule trips, horseback riding, helicopter tours, or rafting the Colorado River to discover a wilder side of the canyon.

Traveler tips

If you’re looking for the Grand Canyon Skywalk, that glass marvel hangs off the canyon’s western rim, technically on the tribal lands of the Hualapai. Pair walking “off the edge” with a self-guided tour of the Native American Village at Eagle Point. This area known as Grand Canyon West is only 90 minutes from Las Vegas, making it a great day-trip option for quick-hitting visitors.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
MST (UTC -7)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
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Attractions
22
Tours
45
Reviews
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People Also Ask

What can you see in Grand Canyon National Park?

At Grand Canyon National Park, you get a view of the 1,902-mile (3,061-kilometer) canyon itself, plus get insight into millions of years of Earth history, see ancient petroglyphs, experience classic national park architecture at places like the El Tovar Hotel, spot high desert wildlife, and more.

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What is the month to visit Grand Canyon National Park?

The month to visit Grand Canyon National Park is April, although May is good, too. As national parks get more popular, big-ticket parks like Grand Canyon get more crowded, especially in summer. Shoulder seasons are your best bet for having good weather without the crowds. Once June hits, visitation swells.

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How much time do you need at Grand Canyon National Park?

You’ll want at least two days at Grand Canyon National Park, but three is better. With an overnight stay, you’ll experience the park in all its hues, from evening’s twilight to morning’s warm glow. You’ll also be able to tackle a couple of hikes—the Bright Angel Trail is popular.

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What is the prettiest part of the Grand Canyon?

If you want the views you’ve seen in magazines and on Instagram, head to the South Rim’s designated lookouts including Mather, Hopi, and Shoshone points. If you’ve got the hiking bug, check out Plateau Point on Bright Angel Trail—after some 100 switchbacks, you’ll see unbeatable views of the Colorado River.

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What are five things to do at the Grand Canyon?

Here are five ways to enjoy the Grand Canyon. Hike on popular trails (South Rim or Bright Angel trails). Snap pictures on the rim. Cruise down Desert View Drive. Eat at the El Tovar Dining Room. And walk on the glass Grand Canyon Skywalk, hanging over the East Rim.

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What is Grand Canyon National Park known for?

Grand Canyon National Park is known for having one of the largest canyons in the world, clocking in at 1,902 square miles (3,061 square kilometers). It’s also home to plenty of hikes, tangible Indigenous history, and El Tovar Hotel, one of the National Park Service’s most historic lodges.

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